In the northeast corner of the park inside the White River entrance, Sunrise Visitor Center lies at 6,400 feet, the highest visitor center in the park. Because of the elevation and location, the visitor center is only open seasonally, but easily rivals the beauty of Paradise with magnificent views of the Emmons Glacier. It’s also less busy (but it’s still worth arriving early in the day to avoid a wait at the entrance).
Don’t miss it if you’re touring during the summer. Families will find a day lodge here with a snack bar, a log cabin-esque visitor center housing displays on Rainier’s geology and the park’s natural and cultural history, ranger-led programs, and information for hikers.
Like Paradise, Sunrise offers families easy hikes from the visitor center, though here the trails aren’t paved and have a more back-country feel to them. Stop at Sunrise Point on your way in or when you leave to take in sweeping views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Adams and Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
The visitor center is open daily, generally starting on July 1 through late September. No overnight accommodations here.